April 19, 2021

What We Learned from a School Shooting

What a sad story.  This past week we’ve seen the ultimate in school killings it seems.

The target: a group of innocent girls in a schoolhouse amongst people that don’t believe in using modern devices in accordance to their religion.

The attacker: a man who was disturbed because he molested some family members a while back and wanted to do it again.

What started out as a normal day at this schoolhouse turned out to be anything but that.  As time progresses from what happened last week, we hear more and more about what happened then, and in the days before.

He was a disturbed man— married with three children, he felt tortured by memories that he had molested family members twenty years ago with a desire to carry out those dreams again.  If true, he decided that, rather than face those feeling and beat them back, he would live them out.

His intent when he burst into Georgetown Amish School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, armed to the teeth and equipped for a lengthy siege, was to act out those fantasies on the young classmates.

Instead, panicked by the arrival of police, he began executing them before turning the gun on himself.

However, the story doesn’t seem to ring true– at least the part about the molestation in his past.  As it turns out, the two people that he named claim that no such thing happened.  In fact, they claim that they had no contact with the man.

In either case, the story of what went on in that schoolhouse is chilling.  This man was the regular milk truck driver, and the kids would have known him.  We know now that he was planning this for some time and had things prepared for a lengthy stay where he would have taken advantage of these girls.

We know that the morning of the attack, they hung a sign in the room saying “Visitors Brighten People’s Day.”  He entered the room, displaying his weapon, and sent the boys and adults out of the room.  After that, as the attack unfolded, an Amish girl named Marian Fisher displayed great courage for her age, asking that she be killed first to give the younger ones more time.

When the police arrived early, he started lethally shooting them, 10 of them– 5 fatally– before taking his own life.

When the deputy coroner reached the Amish schoolhouse, she found blood on every desk, every window broken and the body of a young girl slumped beneath the chalkboard. Ten children had been shot, five fatally, and the gunman was dead.

“It was horrible. I don’t know how else to explain it,” Amanda Shelley, deputy Lancaster County coroner, said Wednesday. “I hope to never see anything like that again in my life.”

The Amish are taking it well.  They praise the girl’s courage.  They seek to help the family, and let God be judge.  Then there are those that want to give Baptists bad names.

Shirley Phelps-Roper of Westboro Baptist church was going to protest the funeral of the Amish.  She believes that the Amish were recipients of God’s wrath.

She tries to say that what she’s doing is merciful, since you can only minister to people who are alive and telling them that they are wrong is the only way they can get right.

Now, I don’t know a lot about the Amish beyond that I know that they do not believe in the One True God like I do.  However, this is a sensitive time and I’m not going to be boycotting anyone’s funeral.  This woman gives Baptists a bad name, however, boycotting funerals of service men, the Amish, and preaching that only those that go to her church glorify God.

It’s the last thing we learned from this event– yes this is an opportunity to reach out and provide comfort– even to spread the Gospel.  It’s not a time to seek self-aggrandizement through television and radio in the name of the Gospel of truth.

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8 thoughts on “What We Learned from a School Shooting

  1. Is there anything harder to stomach than stories of innocent children going through what you’ve described? I hadn’t heard many of the details you reported, and it all just brought me to tears. I cannot imagine the heartache of losing my two girls so brutally…am just thanking God that the Amish girls were spared the intended molesting.

    The whole Westboro Baptist church thing is almost as sickening. I can just hear Satan cackling in the wings.

  2. It would have been something it had been more than a sick man’s imagery. What fed these thoughts? I’m sure it wasn’t just something he dreamed up. I wouldn’t be surprised if news came out to say that there was porn n this guy’s possession.

    In any case, it goes to show that we are not guaranteed safety, and that those prayers thanking God for safety and protection shouldn’t be flippant!

  3. Now, I don’t know a lot about the Amish beyond that I know that they do not believe in the One True God like I do.

    I’m not sure if I understand you here. Are you saying that the Amish do not believe in the one true God? Or are you just saying that their belief in God is different from yours?


  4. Certainly, within most sects there is the possibility for true believers. Like I said, I don’t know a lot about the Amish, but I have been told that they were more of a cult than true believers. Take that for what it is worth (not much) because I have not done much research.

  5. MIN, I have lived with the Amish, and visited them on occassion. I have had ample time to research their beliefs, and understanding of Christ. I have personal experience too. I would say that they are Christians just as you or I am. Of an old world sort. They may take the verses regarding separation a bit too far, and they are a bit too legalistic, but they believe in the triune Livign God, in the Son Jesus Christ, that He died for their sins, and that they are saved by grace and not deeds. I think they have the basics very right, and some of the peripherals are more right that I can say for myself, but then some of them are off too, like I mentioned above. But hey? Do we have it ALL right??

    I would urge you to do some research into their faith and find out for yourself. And if you come across anything that teaches contrary to what I just stated I would like to read it too. Lest I have been decieved.

    Mrs Meg Logan

  6. glossing over the “they don’t believe in my god, so they don’t believe in the ‘real’ god” comment to just express my continued, general and utter contempt for anything and everything phelps and co. do, think and say.

  7. It certainly seems that these people are being very abrasive, and opposite of the love that Christ taught us to have. Reaching people with the Good News should be something we do out of love, not because we think we’re better than someone else.

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